On Life as Water – a poem by Jeff Burt

On Life as Water

It would be nice to have bones 
during a worldwide resurrection
but I’ve lived earth and firmament 
so long I’m thinking fluid
might be a better state, 
a new life not as a container
but uncontained, wild 
and raging at the source
then sluicing through adamantium rock
until a flat plain means I diminish
in the sea, evaporate, then launch again 
to fall, to etch, to wear, to nourish.

There would be places I’d be desired, 
deserts, farms, and watersheds,
places I could clean and weather,
and places repentance I could symbolize.
Perhaps that is what I most desire, 
a way to turn from one way
and live as another, be given 
a second chance to run through the rock
of hardened people, sustain the weak, 
wet the dry, purify, abound 
in the endless cycle of delivering 
from torment, rising to grace,
all those motions that my toughened self 
has often not permitted.

Perhaps that is why, when, 
without a reason, I weep,
joy, grief, sentiment, loss and victory,
birth, death, sex and intimacy
all bind in that slim meniscus of water,
and I know myself deeply, briefly, in a drop.

Jeff Burt lives in California with his wife. He has work in Williwaw Journal, Willows Wept Review, Heartwood, and Rabid Oak.

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